No. 17 JMU softball sweeps Duke

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HARRISONBURG, Va. -- No. 17 James Madison softball took down another ACC opponent as the Dukes won both games of Wednesday’s doubleheader against Duke, 11-3 and 6-5, at Veterans Memorial Park.

JMU improves its overall season record to 33-7 while Duke falls to 23-25.

The Dukes hits two long balls in game one to end the contest in six innings and crushed another in game two for a tie ballgame.

With the first strikeout in game two, redshirt senior Megan Good became the JMU career strikeout leader and finished the day with five, upping her career total to 820.

Although the Blue Devils plated one run in the top of the frame, the Dukes jumped out to an early 5-1 lead after sophomore Hannah File singled and was brought home on a two-run home run from Good. Junior Kierstin Roadcap doubled to left center, plating another run before Madison Naujokas hit a RBI single to left.

JMU produced three hits in the second frame, starting with a lead-off double by Kate Gordon. Junior Odicci Alexander drew her second walk of the game and both runners advanced a base on a single from Logan Newton. Sophomore Sara Jubas hit blasted a grand slam to give JMU a 9-1 lead while crushing her seventh homer of the season.

Duke added two runs on the board in the fifth off of two hits, including a solo home run. The Dukes answered in the bottom of the sixth with File doubling to left center. With two outs, Alexander singled to put two runners on base for Newton. Stepping up to the occasion, Newton hit a walk-off double to right for a 11-3 win.

Alexander notched her 14th win on the year, improving her record to 14-1 in the circle. She threw 4 2/3 innings while picking up four strikeouts before sophomore Payton Buresch came in for relief. Buresch pitched 1 1/3 and didn’t allow a single Blue Devil on base.

The Blue Devils took a 3-0 lead in the first inning on a three-run home run, but the Dukes made it a 3-3 game in the second with a double from Jubas and singles from Roadcap and File.

Duke scored two runs in the second off three hits in the third. JMU went on to score one run per inning for the next three innings to get the victory. In the fourth, Gordon notched her second double of the day, plating another run to cut Duke’s lead to 5-4. In the fifth, Alexander launched a solo bomb onto the baseball field to tie the game at 5-5.

Alexander came in clutch in the sixth, sending a ball to center field to score JMU’s sixth and final run of the game.

Good earned her 13th win of the season in the circle after pitching six complete innings in which she gave up three earned runs.

“Our happy that we could get two wins against another good ACC program in Duke today. Scoring early in game one was big for us, but I’m proud of the way our girls battled at the plate in game two to get the win. Moving forward, we need to tighten up in the field and make those routine plays to keep runs off the board.”

The Dukes are back in Colonial Athletic Association action this weekend, hosting the College of Charleston at Veterans Memorial Park. The doubleheader on Saturday, April 20, is slated for a noon start.